Hyères, the hidden French Riviera

Views over Hyères

Hyères: The Hidden French Riviera

I’ve been to the South of France before, and I had always heard great things about Hyères, yet had never actually stepped foot in this part of the country. I knew I had to see what all the raving recommendations and reviews of this part of the French Riviera were about; so off I went to see and explore all this magnificent gem of a town had to offer.

Within the first few minutes of arriving, I quickly understood why it has been named the ‘City of Palm Trees’ as well as knowing quite quickly that I would have nothing short of a beautiful time while here. From the natural beauty that seemed to fill every inch of Hyères to the plentiful options of what to see and do while here, I certainly knew I would be far from bored during my visit. Hyères is an international destination for water sports.

Just off the plane we started the first day by having light lunch by the sea with incredible views and taking in the calming pace of life.  Another highlight of this trip was exploring one of the four gardens that have been deemed the title of literal ‘remarkable gardens’ and with one breath of the sweet flowery air, I instantly knew why. From the overwhelming smells of rosemary, acacia and myrtle to the beautiful bunches of peonies and lavender I simply couldn’t get enough.

In Hyères Medieval City Center, I was able to get an up-close, and personal look at the ever-changing architecture of the neighbourhoods all lined with unique and adorable houses and villas and take in the atmosphere of the  quaint Saturday market. Once we indulged in a delicious lunch  and more Rose wine at one of the many cafes in town, I was able to hop on over to the famous modernist Villa Noailles; a famous art museum filled with international fashion collections, photography and plenty more permanent collections that were all a true privilege to see. The way the walls have been built to frame the magnificent views over the town is breathtaking.  The building itself has a fantastic story; it was a wedding present and some very illustrious guests spent time on this hilltop villa.

We wanted to make good use of the fabulous weather of the day and spend most of my time enjoying the gorgeous outdoors of the city and the views from the Castle St-Claire.  In Port Du Niel, a tiny fishing village, I was able to witness dozens of fantastic boats and capture it all through the several awesome pictures I took, I also had the best dish of this trip, Bouilla – a delectable fish soup. The last stop of this trip was Giens where we spent time at Hotel Provençal, which has fabulous views, breathtaking natural beauty and a splendid 50’s pool next to the sea. This place has an understated glamour, the genuine French Riviera and now my favorite French town of Hyères that I was lucky enough to explore and discover!

Hyères, Rue de Repos – the prettiest street ever!

Place Massillon

Hyères Saturday Street Market

Hyères is the most important producer of cut flowers in France.
Courgettes and flowers
A vibrant market

Provençal food delights

dried fish, octopus and rose wine by the sea at Le Pradeau Plage
Turbot, asparagus and truffles at Le Pradeau Plage
caneles and macaroons, not strictly from the Riviera but still French delicious
Fish and vegetables – light lunch at Le Haut du Pave, Place Massillon

 strawberries are in season and lavander Crème brûlée, Le Haut du Pave, Place Massillon
Pissaladière , a Provençal dish, dough topped with of caramelised onions, olives, garlic and anchovies – this one was made with light puff pastry at Restaurant Joy in Hyères
Cherry Clafoutis, made with almonds – gluten-free, topped with cherries ice cream and caramelised almonds, Restaurant Joy in Hyères

 Crudités are traditional French appetizers
consisting of sliced or whole raw vegetables which are dipped in different sauces and Rose wine from the region.

bouilla – fish soup, not to be confused with Bouillabaisse  very tasty and delicious – at Port Du Niel – Restaurant ‘Le Niel’, Giens
Coupe Provencal  – with lavender ice cream and chantilly at Port Du Niel, Restaurant ‘Le Niel’, Giens
Le Pradeau Plage
1420 avenue des Arbanais
La cave Massillon
12 Rue Massillon, 83400 Tel. : +33 (0)4 94 65 24 33
Le Haut du Pavé
Place Massillon Tel. : +33 (0)4 94 35 20 98
24 rue de Limans +33 (0) 494 20 84 98
Le Niel Paillotte Arbanaise
Port du Niel Tel.: +33 (0)6 62 13 58 18

 Remarkable Gardens

 Villa Noailles

Villa Noailles


Villa Noailles

Parc Saint Bernard – 83400 Hyères 
Tel. : +33(0)4 98 08 01 98


Giens and the Peninsula : 

Port Du Niel


Hôtel Provençal,panoramic view of the Hyères Islands
50’s Piscine Hôtel Provençal in Giens, Hyères
Hotel Provencal , Giens, Hyères
Hôtel  Provençal
113 Place Saint-Pierre, 
83400 Giens, France
t:+33 4 98 04 54 54

La Route du Sel – Salt Marches

the route du sel, a natural park in which you can watch flamingos
early morning aquatic exercise


Next post : On the way to Porquerolles Island
To get to Hyeres from the UK : 
Direct to Hyères : (TLN) Cityjet from 3/07 to 30/08 : 3xweek – Friday, Saturday and Sunday (from 79€)]. Flybe from Bournemouth  until 27/09 : 4xweek – Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (from 48€)]. You could also go through Marseille or Nice airports and rent a car.
Car rental is advisable if you want to explore the region and the peninsula easily.

I stayed at the 4 star hotel 

19, avenue Ambroise Thomas


Tel : (+33)4/94650304 – Fax : (+33)4/94355820

Until next time why not join me on  InstagramTwitter and Facebook…X


I was a guest of  Tourisme Hyères and rendezvousenfrance on this trip. All views are my own.



  1. June 11, 2015 / 11:52 am

    Oh what a stunning place! I've never been to France, but it's on my list of 40 things I want to do before I turn 40! Beautiful photographs!

  2. June 11, 2015 / 12:04 pm

    Thanks Elizabeth, This region of France is truly beautiful! R

  3. Agata Pokutycka
    June 11, 2015 / 12:05 pm

    It looks like a wonderful place. I especially like the market 🙂 Fresh food all the way.

  4. June 11, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    Wow, it looks so beautiful! The markets and restaurants look very charming.
    I'm going to Aix-en-Provence for a long weekend in July, maybe a day trip to Hyeres would be nice.

  5. June 11, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    Hey Agata, the market is very colourful and vibrant atmosphere. R

  6. June 11, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    Hey Cherie City, You really should pop in to Hyeres it's a fab place and full of water sports too, if you have time. R

  7. Andrew
    June 11, 2015 / 2:35 pm

    What a fantastic sounding – and looking – trip. Most envious!

  8. June 11, 2015 / 3:18 pm

    Andrew, this place is amazing I can't believe it took me this long to go . Breathtaking!

  9. Frankie
    June 11, 2015 / 6:28 pm

    Looks gorgeous, I love the South of France but haven't been here buts it's definitely on my list now 🙂

  10. Rosie alittlelusciousness
    June 12, 2015 / 8:38 am

    Rosanna, it looks amazing!!! Need to go there soon! Looking forward to your Porquerolles post – we used to go there on summer holidays when I was a kid 🙂

    Rosie xx

  11. June 12, 2015 / 10:03 am

    Hi Frankie and Rosie, I can't wait to publish the next post of The Golden Isles. I hope it will bring good memories for you Rosie. x

  12. June 12, 2015 / 11:37 am

    Oh my word!! What a stunning place – and not somewhere I've explored before… That street with the tumbling bougainvilla _ I think I'm in love. And I think I need to move into Villa Noailles ;o)

  13. June 12, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    Jeanne, Hyeres is so pictoresque and photogenic. Every turn there's another pretty corner to photograph and Villa Noailles was a wedding present! do you believe it? Rx

  14. Soňa
    July 10, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    Wow. It sounds amazing. I´m not sure where to go in riviera. We have 2 cities Frejus or Hyeres? Have you ever been in Frejus? After this article I would like to see Hyeres more. 😀 Hard desicion. 😀 Your picture is beautiful too. Thank you. 🙂